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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I've just sort of been stalking the forums for a bit and haven't really seen a situation close enough to mine so I thought I'd post and get some advice/feedback. I don't know a whole lot about BI laws, or mustangs.

I'm in CO, I know Brand Inspection is required.

I might be stupid to consider this at all but I've found a horse I want to buy, however, he does not have a BI. He is a mustang, I don't know if that makes a difference as far as tracking him by his freeze brand or not so I'll throw it out there.

His story is that his original owner asked a neighbor with property if she could watch their horse, the owner's husband was ill and they needed help. Well weeks turned into months, months turned into a year. The neighbor made attempts to have the owner take him back but the husband's health was declining so the neighbor continued to watch the horse. The husband passed and the owner basically disappeared leaving the horse with the neighbor, who is now his current owner.
There was never a BI done to change owner ship, this has been close to ten years now. The current owner ended up taming him and keeping him and just adding him to her herd. She has recently been diagnosed with some long term health issues and is in the process of thinning her herd.

He is a BLM mustang, his brand is hard to read however but I do have pictures of it.
He has no coggins or papers either.

As I said I may be incredibly stupid to consider this and maybe I just need someone to tell me that! I did not find out any of this until after I'd ridden him for three hours and worked with him for another hour, he's the first horse I've connected with for a long while but I don't want that to get in the way of doing something incredibly stupid, I also don't want something stupid to get in the way of having a great riding partner.

Any suggestions? Would a bill of sale from the lady be enough to get a new BI?

I'm looking to get into barrel racing and have no idea how this would effect showing, I would need one to cross state lines for sure.

I have called our local BI office, the desk lady just kept saying that I would not be able to prove the horse were mine were it stolen, or sold for meat. I'm more concerned about getting pulled over and having him taken from me or being fined. She had no real answers for me so I am waiting for a call back from the BI himself but was curious if anyone out there knew of what I can do or if I should just back out now...

Thank you all for your time and knowledge!
 

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I would call the BLM office that handles brand records- as a BLM mustang, they should have a record of the person that they issued title of ownership to after the 1 year waiting period was up on him. If that person then sold the horse without transferring the title, you may be able to get a hardship title with his brand number (might require you trimming the brand down to see if you can read it).

I have never gone through this before, so please take what I say with a grain of salt and do your research.
 

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Maybe someone on here could give you an idea. I would just be persistent about talking to the BI yourself. I'm sure something can be worked out to make this horse legit again. Shaving the BLM brand to see it better would be a good start and go from there. If you really, really like this horse then it would probably be worth the effort.
Sorry about not being such a big help, just trying to give encouragement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I really appreciate it guys! I will contact BLM tomorrow and see what we can do. :)
He is definitely worth the trouble I just had no idea where to start or how this could be done legally. Thank you guys, I'll update with where this goes.
 

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I don't think it's a big deal. If I wanted to buy the horse, I'd just get a bill of sale from the owner. You can just have a vet come and give you a brand inspection certificate if you plan to trailer the horse somewhere else. My current horse has never had a brand inspection and I've moved her several times. Horses don't need to have a brand or formal identification, they just need someone who can prove they are the owner with a signed transfer of ownership.

Here's what I was told by a vet:
If you are stopped by a policeman, they don't really have time and resources to be gathering horses and bringing them places to hold just because they don't have a brand inspection certificate. If someone had reported a stolen horse and yours matched the description, then that would be a situation where you would have to prove the horse was yours. The BI just certifies that you have a horse of this certain color and with these markings.

If you can prove the horse is yours with a bill of sale, then unless someone is there to dispute that this is actually their horse, you won't have any problems. Both of my horses have informal type bills of sale that I wrote out with the previous owner. As long as you both sign it, that is a legal document and the horse officially belongs to you. No one has to prove who has owned a horse since birth.

Even if someone assumes ownership by having a horse left on their property, if they can show vet bills or receipts to prove that they have been caring for the horse for a period of time, they will legally be considered the owner unless someone comes along and can prove the horse was stolen from them. It doesn't sound to me like anyone is going to come along and try to take your horse.

To be clear, a brand inspection has nothing to do with ownership. It only certifies that you have the right to transport this horse (the horse is not stolen). I have not heard that anyone considers a BI as part of the process of buying a horse, it is only part of the process of transporting a horse.
 

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Also, if you own the horse for awhile and someone steals the horse, you will have proof of ownership (along with your bill of sale) in the form of photos of the horse. If someone stole my horses and wanted to claim they were theirs, I can produce witnesses and many time stamped photos of them over the years.
 

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Not sure where you're located, but a few things you said are incorrect for Colorado (where the OP is located).

You can just have a vet come and give you a brand inspection certificate if you plan to trailer the horse somewhere else.
In Colorado a vet cannot give a brand inspection certificate. It has to be from one of the brand inspectors employed by the state. There is one person assigned to each region.

To be clear, a brand inspection has nothing to do with ownership. It only certifies that you have the right to transport this horse (the horse is not stolen). I have not heard that anyone considers a BI as part of the process of buying a horse, it is only part of the process of transporting a horse.
In Colorado, a brand inspection is required by law every time a horse is bought/sold.
https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/agbrands/when-get-inspection
 

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Not sure where you're located, but a few things you said are incorrect for Colorado (where the OP is located).



In Colorado a vet cannot give a brand inspection certificate. It has to be from one of the brand inspectors employed by the state. There is one person assigned to each region.



In Colorado, a brand inspection is required by law every time a horse is bought/sold.
https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/agbrands/when-get-inspection


This is true for most of the western states also. If you are transporting a horse through a brand state, technically and legally you are required to stop to get a BI unless you have one from another state that is accepted by that state.
 

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This is true for most of the western states also.
Interesting, in Oregon, Washington and I believe California BIs are not required. For some reason the far West does not have these laws. I wonder how much they are enforced in other states? It seems unlikely they would possess horses that had not been reported stolen just because they did not have a brand inspection. Perhaps they would fine the current owner for improper paperwork.
 

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Interesting, in Oregon, Washington and I believe California BIs are not required. For some reason the far West does not have these laws. I wonder how much they are enforced in other states? It seems unlikely they would possess horses that had not been reported stolen just because they did not have a brand inspection. Perhaps they would fine the current owner for improper paperwork.

We're not a BI state either, but we've trailer frequently through some that are and decided it was better to stop than risk having the horses impounded or worse. We did live in NM for a few years which is a BI state and from reports from other horse owners, the BI regulations are enforced and they do patrol some of the riding areas.
 

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I've been in a similar situation in Utah. Purchased a horse with no brand inspection. Here in Utah a bill of sale means absolutely nothing... a brand inspection is the only way to prove ownership and is required when purchasing/selling a horse.
In my situation I called up our local BI and explained why I didn't originally have a one done at purchase. We worked it all out and got the brand inspection in my name.
Just talk to your local BI. If the current owners have any kind of proof that they've cared for this horse for that amount of time, you shouldn't have a problem getting a brand inspection in your name if you decide to purchase.
 

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None in CA that i know of . My Vet did tell me , that if you brand a horse in CA , the brand has to legally be registered. I guess if I ever travel out of state with my Branded mare, I will have to take a copy of her papers for proof. I have no idea where she was branded .
But the brand is listed on her papers.
 
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